UK safeguard measures remain despite EU, Turkey deals

Most imports of steel products from the EU and Turkey into the UK will continue to be subject to the safeguard measures announced last autumn by British authorities. This is despite the recent trade deals signed days before Brexit became effective.

In the autumn the UK announced it would maintain the safeguard system created by the EU until the end of June 2021. Authorities published the list of products included and the volumes of tariff free quotas allocated for all importers, including the EU and Turkey (see Kallanish passim).

Shortly before the turn of the year the UK signed new trade deals with the EU and Turkey in which it specifically mentioned the decision to avoid any additional tariffs on the trade of steel goods. 

These deals will help the continuation of steel trade between the UK and EU, as well as Turkey, but safeguard measures will remain in place as non-preferential measures. Preferential trade agreements, such as the ones signed with the EU and Turkey, have no direct impact on non-preferential rules for trade, Kallanishnotes.

In the release related to the new agreement signed with Turkey, for example, the UK authorities said the deal “…will ensure preferential trading terms for UK businesses that exported more than £1 billion worth of machinery, and iron and steel exports worth £575 million, to Turkey in 2019”.

It is still not certain if the UK will decide to start a fresh anti-dumping investigation on hot rolled coil imports from Turkey. The EU is soon to officially announce provisional AD measures on such imports, but these will not be applying to the UK as they will become effective after Brexit. Existing AD measures in place before Brexit can be implemented by the UK directly without the need of a new investigation under WTO rules.